I have been a lover of mango pickle ever since my Indian roommates at boarding school in India shared their homemade mango pickle with me. When I spotted these green (unripe) mangoes in the market my first thought was mango pickle.
The one time I made mango pickle a couple years ago I did minimal research and mostly winged it, trying to match flavors with memory. Surprisingly the result was very good. This time I attempted something a little more authentic by loosely following the suggestions of a video I saw on YouTube by Guru’s Cooking.
I chopped the mangoes into chunks leaving the skin and endocarp intact but discarded the seed.
To the chopped green mangoes I added kosher salt (2% by weight) and turmeric and tossed them well to coat the pieces. The bowl was kept covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for 2 days with an occasional stir.
After marinating for two days I drained off the liquid the mango pieces had exuded, reserving it in a glass jar.
Because it is still winter I was going to skip the part about setting the mango pieces and the drained liquid in the sun for 2 days, but lo and behold, the sun shone brightly and the temperatures rose into the upper 70’s Fahrenheit.
Since I used a different number of mangoes than Guru’s Cooking used I didn’t bother measuring the spices, besides, I’m too lazy to weigh ingredients and do arithmetic unless I absolutely have to. I toasted fenugreek seeds in a dry skillet then crushed them along with fennel seeds and mustard seeds. To the crushed seeds I added ginger powder, asafetida and red chili powder. The recipe said not to use Kashmiri chili powder but I did anyway along with a little cayenne pepper.
I mixed a little grated jaggery with the crushed spices and tossed it with the mango pieces to coat them thoroughly before transferring everything into a glass jar.
The liquid which had been drained from the salted mangoes was then added into the jar.
I heated mustard oil to the smoking point and let it cool before adding it to the contents of the jar.
At this point the jar of mango pickle is supposed to spend four more days in the sunshine, but half a day of sun was it before the clouds, rain and cooler weather moved in.
A minimum of 20 days is supposed to pass before sampling the results. I better put the jar somewhere out of sight so it will stay out of mind.